How to get unstuck after a failed product launch

Shavin Peiries Sep 18, 2021 2 min read

For the last couple of months, I haven't put much effort into Idea Bakery. After a rather unsuccessful launch and my main service business running out of money, I felt emotionally drained to work on it. My last update was close to two months ago.

To recover, I took a break from building and I just stretched my curiosity by learning about Solidity, Web3 and Smart Contracts with the Buildspace crew. I've also been working on getting my career assets ready to start applying for Product Designer jobs.

Buildspace awarded an NFT to anyone who completes their course. Cool right?

By stepping away from continuing to build Idea Bakery, I wondered what my Achilles heel was when it came to building a desirable product. Obviously, I can't keep making the costly mistake of building and launching something that doesn't work.

There's a lot to be said about building a product the right way. It's not like consulting work which I used to do at Very Bad Wizards. It's a different beast altogether. Coming up with an idea, designing it and executing it has a lot of moving parts that you can't consult your way to fruition. It takes time, money and a helluva lot of thinking & experimenting to get right. However, the outcome of building a successful internet business is so enticing that you'll keep coming back to it because of the freedom it affords you.

I've since learned that in order to be a well rounded SaaS creator & designer, I need to be able to utilise customer interviews as a tool when I get stuck because I don't have enough answers around the domain of the problem. This has been a confusing experience in the discovery phase (looking for opportunities to go after).

I've been learning a lot about Customer Interviews thanks to books like Deploy Empathy by Michele Hansen (a step-up from the Mom Test and dives deeper into other areas of where research can be utilised) and the JTBD Playbook by Jim Kalbach (it does a great job of covering all the areas around JTBD and the different schools of thought around the theory).

I've also had a lot of assistance from Josh Pitzalis at Josh has helped me in figuring out what my research question should be and how I should approach customer interviews in general. It's also really fun to jam with him on these ideas over the phone!

I still don't have all the answers. I actually don't have that many answers really. There are a lot more questions to be answered and in this case, I really think experience is the teacher. So, in the following weeks, I'll be going back to the drawing board, untangling all the research I've done, formulate the next questions that need to be answered by the market to help me progress in the right direction.

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